Title:
Toilet Wand And Caddy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Described is a toilet wand and caddy system which includes a curved handle wand having replaceable cleaning heads, a caddy with a slanted cover, allowing the curved handle wand to curve thereover, and a short tool holder for holding the wand in an upright position. The system of the present invention provides for storage for replacement cleaning heads, minimal storage space, an aesthetically pleasing design as well as minimal spread of germs.



Inventors:
Wang, Marcus (Oakland, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/957698
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/17/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K11/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEPHENS III, JOSE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE CLOROX COMPANY (OAKLAND, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A caddy for storing a cleaning tool, the caddy comprising: an angled top portion; and a tool holder, wherein the tool holder has a height not more than 25% of the length of the cleaning tool; and at least a portion of the cleaning tool curves over the angled top portion when stored in the caddy.

2. The caddy according to claim 1, wherein the cleaning tool is a toilet wand having a curved handle and a replaceable cleaning head.

3. The caddy according to claim 2, wherein the replaceable cleaning head is storable in an interior of the caddy.

4. The caddy according to claim 3, wherein a plurality of cleaning heads are stackable and storable in the interior of the caddy.

5. The caddy according to claim 3, further comprising a cover over the angled top portion, the cover covering the interior of the caddy.

6. The caddy according to claim 1, further comprising ribs formed along an inside of an opening in the tool holder.

7. The caddy according to claim 6, wherein the ribs includes raised portions circumscribing at least a portion of the inside of the opening in the tool holder.

8. The caddy according to claim 6, wherein the ribs are formed on one side of the inside of the opening in the tool holder.

9. The caddy according to claim 1, wherein an opening in the tool holder is adapted to fit an end portion of the cleaning tool.

10. The caddy according to claim 1, wherein the tool holder is removably attached to an exterior of the caddy.

11. A toilet wand caddy for holding a toilet wand, the toilet wand caddy comprising: an angled top portion; a cover removably attached to the angled top portion, the cover enclosing an interior of the toilet wand caddy; and a tool holder for holding a toilet wand, wherein at least a portion of the toilet wand curves over the angled top portion when stored in the caddy.

12. The toilet wand caddy according to claim 11, wherein the cover is hingedly attached to the toilet wand caddy.

13. The toilet wand caddy according to claim 11, wherein the tool holder has a height not more than 25% of the length of the toilet wand.

14. The toilet wand caddy according to claim 11, wherein a plurality of cleaning heads are stackable and storable in the interior of the toilet wand caddy.

15. The toilet wand caddy according to claim 11, further comprising ribs formed along an inside of an opening in the tool holder.

16. A toilet wand and caddy system comprising: a toilet wand having a curved handle curving from an end portion to a gripping portion, wherein a removable cleaning head is attachable to the end portion; a tubular caddy having a tool holder for holding the toilet wand, wherein the tool holder has an opening therein to receive the end portion of the toilet wand; and the gripping portion of the toilet wand curves over a top portion of the caddy.

17. The toilet wand and caddy system according to claim 16, wherein the top portion is an angled top portion, the angled top portion providing the tubular caddy with a back side having a height greater than a front side thereof.

18. The toilet wand and caddy system according to claim 16, further comprising a cover to enclose an interior of the tubular caddy.

19. The toilet wand and caddy system according to claim 18, wherein: the cover is hingedly attached to a back side of the caddy; and the top portion is an angled top portion, the angled top portion providing the tubular caddy with a back side having a height greater than a front side thereof.

20. The toilet wand and caddy system according to claim 16, wherein a plurality of the replaceable cleaning heads are stackable and storable in the interior of the tubular caddy.

21. The toilet wand and caddy system according to claim 16, further comprising ribs formed along an inside of an opening in the tool holder.

22. The toilet wand and caddy system according to claim 16, wherein a height of the opening in the tool holder is not more than 25% of the length of the curved handle of the toilet wand.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to a toilet wand and caddy, more specifically, to a toilet wand and caddy fitting together such that the features and improvements of the present invention, as described herein, are achieved while providing storage for cleaning supplies.

2. Description of the Related Art

Toilet wands and caddies for holding toilet wands are well-known in the art. Conventional toilet wands, such as toilet brushes, may be stored in a variety of arrangements. For example, a conventional toilet brush may simply be stored in a docking structure adapted to hold the brush portion of the toilet wand, as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,902,056. This type of toilet brush caddy has several disadvantages, such as a) enclosing at least a portion of the brushes, thereby preventing rapid drying of the toilet brush; b) allowing direct contact between the toilet brush bristles and the caddy, thereby advancing the possibility of creating an unsanitary environment; and c) storing the used brush within reach of children and pets, thereby potentially exposing them to a possibly unsanitary environment.

Another type of prior art toilet wand and caddy has been designed to address several of the shortcomings described above. This type of toilet wand and caddy allows for storage of the toilet wand in a configuration wherein the wand hangs within the caddy from its handle. Such a configuration may allow for rapid drying of the toilet wand's cleaning head (the brush, or, more precisely, the brush's bristles). Moreover, this configuration may prevent direct contact between the toilet wand's brushes and the caddy, thereby increasing the sanitary nature of the wand/caddy system.

To address the problem of access to the toilet brush by children and pets, for example, conventional toilet wand and caddy systems using the wand-hanging configuration described above may provide for a caddy door or cover which encases the toilet wand hanging within the toilet caddy. This modified wand-hanging configuration may provide a relatively sanitary toilet brush which may be stored in a caddy, out of sight from exploring children or pets.

The toilet wand and caddy has taken on many modifications over time, including improvements to the wand's brush shape, brush material and the like. For example, toilet wands have been recently manufactured with replacement cleaning heads as described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,127,768 to Blum et al., PCT App. WO2004100744 to Beaulieu et al., U.S. Pat. App. 20070245508 to Gartland, and U.S. Pat. App. 20060225237 to Gartland, each of which is herein incorporated by reference. Several of these conventional toilet wands have curved handles, thereby making it easier to reach into the recesses of the toilet bowl. However, the toilet caddies for holding these wands have been bulky, do not limit access to brushes by children and pets, lack storage for replacement cleaning heads, or do not minimize the spread of germs.

Accordingly, what is needed is a simple, easy-to-use toilet wand and caddy that provides storage for replacement cleaning heads, minimal storage space, limited access by children and pets, an aesthetically pleasing design as well as minimal spread of germs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, in one embodiment, a caddy for storing a cleaning tool comprises an angled top portion; and a separate tool holder, wherein the tool holder has a height not more than 25% of the length of the cleaning tool; and at least a portion of the cleaning tool curves over the angled top portion when stored in the caddy.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a toilet wand caddy for holding a toilet wand comprises an angled top portion; a cover removably attached to the angled top portion, the cover enclosing an interior of the toilet wand caddy; and a tool holder, wherein at least a portion of the toilet wand curves over the angled top portion when stored in the caddy.

According to a further embodiment of the present invention, a toilet wand and caddy system comprises a toilet wand having a curved handle curving from an end portion to a gripping portion, wherein a removable cleaning head is attachable to the end portion; a tubular caddy having a separate tool holder for holding the toilet wand, wherein the tool holder has an opening therein to receive the end portion of the toilet wand; and the gripping portion of the toilet wand curves over a top portion of the caddy.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and others will be readily appreciated by the skilled artisan from the following description of illustrative embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a front perspective view of a toilet wand and caddy in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a side view of a toilet wand and caddy in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the toilet caddy of FIG. 2 with its cover and tool holder removed;

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a cover fitting on the toilet caddy of FIG. 3, according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a tool holder fitting on the toilet caddy of FIG. 3, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made to the drawings wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout. Exemplary embodiments of the present invention are illustrated in the context of a toilet wand and caddy. The skilled artisan will readily appreciate, however, that the materials and methods disclosed herein will have application in a number of other contexts where a cleaning tool (e.g., toilet wand, bath wand, auto cleaning tool, and the like) may have replaceable cleaning heads and may be stored in a tool caddy.

The aforementioned needs may be satisfied by the toilet wand and caddy of the present invention which includes, as discussed in greater detail below, a curved handle wand having replaceable cleaning heads, a caddy with a slanted cover, allowing the curved handle wand to curve thereover, and a short tool holder for holding the wand in an upright position.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a front perspective view of a toilet wand 10 and caddy 12 in accordance with the present invention. The toilet wand 10 may have a curved handle 14 joining a gripping portion 16 and an end portion 18 of the toilet wand 10. The gripping portion 16 may generally be where a user will handle the toilet wand 10 and the end portion 18 may be where replaceable cleaning heads (not shown) can be attached.

The caddy 12 may include a separate tool holder 20 attached to an exterior 22 thereof The tool holder 20 may be removable from the exterior 22 of the caddy 12 or may be formed integrally therewith. The tool holder 20 may have an opening 24 therein to hold the end portion 18 of the toilet wand 10. The tool holder 20 may have a height 26 high enough to securely hold the end portion 18 of the toilet wand 10, but not so high as to contaminate the handle 14 with residue after use. Unlike conventional caddies which may completely encase the toilet wand and spread germs onto the handle 14 and gripping portion 16, the design of the present invention prevents such contamination. In one embodiment of the present invention, the opening 24 in the tool holder 20 may enclose from about 5% to about 25% of the toilet wand 10.

Referring now to both FIGS. 1 and 2, the caddy 12 may include a cover 28 which may form an angled top portion 30 of the caddy 12. The top portion 30 may be angled so that a back portion 32 of the caddy 12 opposite the tool holder 20 is higher than a front portion 34 of the caddy 12 adjacent to the tool holder 20. As shown in FIG. 2, this angled top portion 30 may allow the curved handle to curve over the top of the caddy 12. This design may allow for aesthetically pleasing storage of the toilet wand 10 while allowing the wand 10 and caddy 12 to be stored in minimal amount of space. The cover 28 may be hingedly attached to caddy 12 such that opening the cover 28 may reveal an interior 36 (see FIG. 3) of the caddy 12. In one embodiment of the present invention, the cover 28 may be hingedly attached at a back portion 32 of the caddy 12. The combination of cover 28 and ability of the handle to curve over the cover allows for interference from opening the cover without first removing the toilet wand 10. Any means known to one skilled in the art may be used to attach the cover 28 to the caddy 12. For example, the cover 28 may frictionally fit onto the caddy 12.

Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a perspective view of the caddy 12 with its cover 28 and its tool holder 20 (see FIGS. 1 and 2) removed. The caddy 12 may be a tubular caddy 12 having an interior 36 for storing cleaning supplies such as replaceable cleaning heads (not shown) for attachment to the end portion 18 of the toilet wand 10. One embodiment of the replaceable cleaning heads and the toilet wand attachment is described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,127,768 to Blum et al., which is herein incorporated by reference. The caddy 12 may include slots 38 for receiving tabs 40 (see FIG. 4) of the tool holder 20. While the drawings show this slot 38 and tab 40 design for attaching the tool holder 20 to the caddy 12, any means known in the art may be used to make this connection. For example, the tool holder 20 may be attached to the caddy 12 with a hook and loop type of connection or may be formed integrally with the caddy 12.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown a perspective view of the tool holder 20 detached from the caddy 12. As discussed above, the tool holder may have an opening 24 therein for receiving the end portion 18 of the toilet wand 10. Ribs 42 may be formed inside of the opening 24 to help secure the toilet wand 10 in the tool holder 20. The ribs 42 may include a plurality of raised portions circumscribing the opening 24. In one embodiment of the present invention, the ribs 42 are formed on one side of the opening 24 to firmly secure the end portion 18 of the wand 10 without requiring the friction and necessary control of tolerances that would be required if the opening 24 were simply round.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown a perspective view of the cover 28 for the caddy 12. The cover 28, as discussed above, may be hingedly attached to the caddy 12 at one end 44 thereof. A handle 46 may be formed at the opposite end 48 of the cover 28. The handle 46 may allow a user to easily open the cover 28 when it is attached to the caddy 12, thereby permitting ready access to the interior 36 of the caddy 12.

As discussed above, while the drawings and description described a toilet wand and caddy system, the present invention may be applied to a cleaning tool and caddy for any suitable purpose. For example, a bath cleaning wand may be stored in the novel caddy of the present invention. Furthermore, while the above description described a toilet wand having a replaceable cleaning head, a fixed head cleaning wand (i.e., a cleaning wand having a cleaning brush formed integrally therewith) may be used in the novel caddy of the present invention.

The present invention, as described above, may provide a toilet wand and caddy that is ergonomically and functionally designed to meet the desires of the consumers. For example, consumers may desire a curved handle on a toilet wand in order to reach the recesses of the toilet bowl. The present invention provides a toilet wand with a curved handle. Consumers may also desire a handle that can be easily inserted into the caddy and not stick out, but instead be curved over the caddy. The present invention provides such a streamlined design. Because consumers may desire a cover over the caddy so that replacement cleaning heads may be stored out of sight, the top of the caddy may be angled downward to permit the streamlined design as described above, while still permitting items to be stored and covered inside the caddy. Finally, consumers may desire a tool holder being short to only cover the dirty end of the toilet wand and not farther up toward the handle section. The toilet wand and caddy design of the present invention may satisfy some or all of these consumer desires.

This invention has been described herein in detail to provide those skilled in the art with information relevant to apply the novel principles and to construct and use such specialized components as are required. However, it is to be understood that the invention can be carried out by different equipment, materials and devices, and that various modifications, both as to the equipment and operating procedures, can be accomplished without departing from the scope of the invention itself.